Lorenzo Seals Yamaha's 100th MotoGP Win In Mugello Race
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Jorge Lorenzo continued his momentum at the Autodromo del Mugello track today as he secured a brilliant victory in the Gran Premio d'Italia.
His achievement marks the Yamaha Factory Racing team's hundredth premier class win of the modern four-stroke era, that began in 2002, as well as their third consecutive first place of the 2016 season. Valentino Rossi also gave a stunning performance in the early stages of the 23-lap sprint as he battled with his teammate for the lead, until a mechanical issue on lap nine prevented him from completing the race.
The Autodromo del Mugello circuit was filled with thousands of fans who gathered to see the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders continue their 2016 MotoGP World Championship challenge. Jorge Lorenzo rode his signature race, leading over the line on each lap, to take a flawless victory at the Gran Premio d'Italia. Teammate and local hero Valentino Rossi was also in contention for a strong result, but was unable to finish the race due to a technical failure.
Lorenzo was quick to make his intentions clear and had a flying start from fifth place on the grid to take the holeshot. With his teammate on his tail, he led across the line after the first lap, but it soon became clear his fellow Yamaha rider would not go down without a fight. The Doctor made a pass going into turn one, but Lorenzo was not shaken and quickly regained the lead as the Italian ran wide.
With a clear track ahead the number 99 rider tried to break away, but he was unable to shake Rossi who continued to pile on the pressure, ready to seize any opportunity to pass. However the smooth Spaniard left no space for him to slip past and made sure to brake at the last possible moment every time going into turn one to keep the lead.
Lorenzo rode defensively until Rossi fell behind due to a mechanical issue and was forced to retire. This allowed the current World Champion a small breather until Marquez tapped onto the back of his YZR-M1 with ten laps to go. With five points between them in the championship, the two compatriots battled hard for the win. The last lap saw a flurry of activity, with Lorenzo making an unexpected overtaking manoeuvre in the Scarperia corner. It didn't stick, but Lorenzo cleverly used his experience and launched his YZR-M1 out of the last corner to steal the victory, his third of the season, as he crossed the line 0.019s ahead of Marquez.
Starting from pole position, teammate Rossi had a good start and slotted in behind Lorenzo going into turn one. Determined not to let the Spaniard get away, Rossi briefly took the lead in the second lap of the race going into turn one, but had to hand it back when he ran wide. With the massive support from his fans cheering him on, the Doctor kept as close to Lorenzo as possible while keeping Marquez at a distance, but his race ended prematurely with 15 laps to go due to a technical issue.
Lorenzo's 25 point score gives him a total score of 115 points, keeping him in first position in the championship standings, with a ten-point lead. He is 37 points ahead of Rossi in third place, who has scored 78 points so far this season.
On form Smith powers to top independent position at tough Italian GP
Monster Yamaha Tech3 team rider Bradley Smith produced a strong showing to finish the round six battle at the meandering Mugello circuit in 7th place aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1.
The British star undertook a superb start and shot from the head of the third row on the grid up to 3rd by the time he entered the first corner as he fought with the leading MotoGP bikes. He quickly stuck into his rhythm but got shuffled back yet remained composed and reignited his campaign to move back up the field by setting a series of consistent lap times. He reclaimed 8th at the midpoint of the race and continued to make advances forward with his target being the factory Suzuki of Aleix Espargaro who he slotted past on lap 15.
The 25 year old powered onwards and comfortably opened a gap to the pursuing riders before speeding across the finish line only 13.340 seconds behind the leading bike. The result sees him successfully clinch a return to the top independent team position.
On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team pit box, Pol Espargaro suffered a tricky race as he met the checkered flag in 15th despite his best efforts after unfortunately falling and then re-joining the GP. The young Spaniard began the Grand Prix from the middle of the fifth row, but he was unluckily pushed wide on the opening lap and dropped back to 15th. Yet, he remained fully focused and started his quest to jump back up the field, moving up three places with just under a third of total distance having been completed. However, a mistake two laps later caused Espargaro to fall but he bravely remounted and determinedly closed the gap to the final point scoring position, which he claimed on lap 17. Nevertheless, the current leader in the independent standings will seek to make amends at the next MotoGP event, the Monster Energy sponsored Gran Premio de Cataluña, his home race.